Episode #47  Sailboat Survey!
Articles, Blog

Episode #47 Sailboat Survey!

August 15, 2019

What we wanna do is look at shaft targeting
right here and i’m looking at where the shaft is coming out of the shaft log im doing two
things here i wanna first of all make sure my shaft isnt bent so im taking this high
tech piece of instrument here and im gonna put it right against there im gonna spin this
im gonna spin the prop to make sure its catching all the way around properly alright so the
targeting looks pretty good im not laying on the bottom here i got room under the bottom
here and on room on the side now lets look at the cutlass bearing cause thats gonna tell
us alot we’re gonna check for play and there’s no play so we wanna try take a look here im
looking for the wear on the cutlass bearing see how its wearing thats that rubber bearing
in there thats a hard one there okay yeah its pretty far back yeah it is if we can see
here the wear is down here on the side there’s more uneven wear on this side right here and
more rubber on the top up here which would indicate the engine alignment is off the other
thing i like to point out is the distance between the prop and the strut should equal
the width of the shaft so a 1 inch shaft i should have at least a 1 inch between here
and there and thats no more for the cavitation or the lubrication of the cutlass bearing
just put another shaft on the shaft is as old as the boat is and it’s not right this
should be back more and it’ll help the cavitation between between here and here clearing distance
between here and there. this is back just a wee bit more…
so we have uneven wear on this cutlass bearing so we might wanna look at replacing and the
other thing i like to do is to come up with is the size of the prop because for every
1 degree of pitch its 200 rpm’s on you prop the prop is like a gear they’ll put a cross
a line through it showing that its been re-pitched but im gonna go with 15 X 12 right hand. two
blade prop and it does spin out proper. the bottom has a barrier coat this looks like
Aerolux 2000 right here. see this? this is what i’m telling you to feather take a palm
sander and feather this out and just touch it up. what I am seeing here is blistering.
see this? oh yeah, i can see it now. so that is either the epoxy or somebody didnt do a
good job at doing this so what we’re gonna do is see exactly what we have here. by scraping
it off. see this right here? they gray? well the gray is the epoxy this is is this is what
we call gel-coat blisters. its cosmetic in nature.are you saying its this layer blistering?
It’s underneath that. leads me to believe that whoever did this the hull wasnt dry when
they did this. and the blisters underneath the gelcoat start pounding towards the outside
and outside of the drum the pitch gets higher so your gonna hear alot of differences in
pitch right here but what i dont wanna hear is a dull thud. hear how that rings back?
now in all fairness i would kind of expect to see just that. you have a stainless steel
shaft comes through this composite which is fiberglass one of the pressure points on a
boat is the rudder because when the boat is sailing the rudder is under pressure being
pushed down in the water back and forth much like the keel so it tends to take a beating
and so what your doing is your wearing this area right here which allows water to seep
down inside here then what happens when the boat is out of the water and there’s water
in here it freezes and expands sounds pretty solid and i just wanna check it for ‘play’
and i cant move it at all so doesnt seem to be any play now i cant really do a good moisture
test on it cause this is what we call a ‘quick haul’ but i can set my moisture meter back
it drys off and get an idea im gonna tell ya more like you gotta sand blast this off
and start over. really? well you dont wanna look at those blisters. right. its going to
eventually eat into the hull? it could? well gelcoat blisters go into hull blisters gel
coat blisters are cosmetic in nature not a problem. but when they become hull blisters
its a big problem. because it goes into the laminate wicks and expands. so then what you
have to do is when i have a hull blister lets say its about the size of this here i have
to grind out about this much of the hull in order to fix it. right. because it like a
i dont wanna say candle it’s like a oil lamp where oil goes up into the wick? well water
wicks into the woven rove of fiberglass so it goes in there . so how do you know its
just cosmetic cause you can just tell by? the size of the blisters we have gel-coat
blisters ther’re not hull blisters they would definitely appear to be gelcoat blisiters.
and when would you recommend the latest to have that sandblasted for us? i dont have
a science of for that i cant alls i can do is tell you better sooner than later? like
this season? its not gonna sink for it. right. you know what i’d put it on my list of things
to do and work it into the schedule. at some point. wait until you get tje boat south?
maybe? this has been hit by stray current here that
should be replaced actually before youse guys leave on a trip i’d would suggest replacing
them. all of these? all of ’em. and they’re ‘through-hull fittings?’ yeah, uh-huh.
i’ll give you a list of all the stuff to do. cast iron keel? what’s the significance of that? well the significance of it is nothing
wrong with it under preventative maintenance i want you to sand blast it down and either
use US Paint Hull Guard or an epoxy paint epoxy barrier coat and put several layers
i like the US Hullguard because you put it on it comes in 2 different colors white and
black so you put a layer of white on put a layer of black on black white black then that
when if you run aground you can tell how far your before your gonna do damage to the keel
you have i dont see any rust blooms here but you have some stuff starting here and which
is concerning me this is a fairing compound here it because its a joint
its not the keel separating its just the fairing
compound cracking i can show you on several boats up there where thats the case so its
not a defect alot of times i just tell ya take poly sulfide and run polysulfide on your
finger to allow it to move cause the stuff they put over there hard and tends to crack
but there’s no separation from the hull to keel seam so thats not even an issue.


  • Reply David Duncan March 19, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    I'd say it looks pretty good so far. The soda blasting and barrier coat aren't a big deal, but like anything with a boat it's time consuming. Engine alignment isn't a bid deal ether. Post some questions online or ask for some help and get it down in a couple of hours. As long as the mounts are good it's an easy job. The thru hull fittings I'm not sure they need replacing. Usually if you scratch the metal so you can see the bronze you'll want to note the color of it. A yellow color is good, pink is very bad. Looking forward to the next video.

  • Reply EdB March 19, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Great news! (?) Seriously doesn't sound too bad so far, although I can start to hear the quarters dropping into the coffee can. 🙂 Sounds like you found a good person for the survey.

  • Reply rchopp March 19, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    When you have an inspection like this, do you have to pay for it?

  • Reply Ray Konold March 19, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Was there a recommendation for re-aligning the engine?

  • Reply Sailing Vessel Southern Lady March 19, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Make your list and prioritize the items. First things should help keep the boat floating…like the thru hulls that he mentioned. Nice looking boat. Best of luck, Tom

  • Reply Gary Gish March 19, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Almost all fiberglass boats have blisters and the vast majority of those are cosmetic in nature. Do use blisters as a tool to reduce the purchase price of the boat. It is silly to make a boat yard rich repairing blisters. They will not guarantee the work beyond a year or so. Do watch blisters and address them if the become structural in nature.

  • Reply khaled alhail March 19, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    well done

  • Reply jimfromri March 19, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Survey looks good so far. Hope the rest goes as well. What's the name of your surveyor?

  • Reply Mazda rx7 March 19, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Don't worry very much on how to do these things yourself. These items (cost of repair/replacement) are used to factor reduction in price of boat. The the is if for whatever reason you don't get the boat, the seller has to declare these items to the next potential buyer. This gives you leverage. Now he has to declare these defects to all potential buyers if you don't purchase it.

  • Reply SV. EL FARO March 19, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    looks good but as you can see their is some work to do even with the very little you have told us. The through hulls maybe?      I am not their,   if the bronze looks good I would think you could keep them,   I guess we will have to wait to see what the condition of the valves  as well as hundreds of other items.

  • Reply Dan Best March 19, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Hi Guys, Perhaps the blisters were worse than could be seen on the video, but from what I could see, I wouldn't spend the money on repairing them now. Use them as a negotiating point on the final price, but unless they're a lot worse than the video shows, all I would do is to try to get some good photos of them so at the next haul out, I can see if they're getting worse.

    Cutless bearing – Replace it. This is a normal maintenance item on a boat.

    Replace all the thru-hulls – Why? Is there electrolysis damage we can't see in the video? if so, relpace them. But unless there is a better reason than the fact that they're old, why go through the expense and effort to replace them. If it ain't broke, don't fix it as you may cause a problem. This is another item that I would use to beat the owner down on the final price, but would just monitor them for now.

  • Reply Redemption March 19, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    I can tell you from experience that shaft was cut. The shaft will corrode badly to the joint at the transmission. So we cut it. Some times you can get 2 cuts from a shaft. – OR – the shaft was replaced and that's the only thing available that was CLOSE to correct. Custom shafts will run $5-700 where an off-shelf unit will run around $200+.

    Someone put a barrier coat on and there's blistering??? Someone skipped the hull repair and coated to prevent it from getting worse… That's what we did back in the 90's. And I can tell you my Catalina 22 never got worse. This was back when Epoxy BC was new and that was the way to do it back then. I was only 19 then though and this stuff was new.

    No sweat on the thru hull fittings… Every 20-30 your gonna do it. Just did mine… The worst one is the overboard discharge. Spray with lysol before you go into it and make sure the sea-cock has been open for a week!

    The cutlass bearing the engine alignment… That's kinda what the cutlass is there to do, wear away, that's why it's rubber. It's cheap to replace. But the prop being that close to the strut… Yea, that looks like someone maybe saved a few hundred and put that on OR the mechanic didn't see an issue running it that close. Pushing it further away than 1" will give you more forward MO~ because you'll have less disruption from the strut and more direct onto the rudder. But… To each their own.. Engine alignment will change as motor mounts wear and depending on RPM (torque thrust). So if you are gonna pay to have it aligned by a mechanic, replace the mounts first (and if your replacing the thru hulls the mounts are the same, every 10-20 years) – unless their like new of course..

  • Reply Ted Smith March 19, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    There may be better bottoms for you money. You have to weight out the cost of it all vs buying boat that doesn't need these things. Then you spend all you money on hull outs and surveys. lol always a trade off.

  • Reply kinderwood March 19, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Sounds very encouraging so far Vin. From what I've read those sound like normal items that need some attention for a boat of that age. Can't wait to see how the rest of the survey went!

  • Reply ABlueDoorProduction March 19, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Yes!!! I'm so excited for you guys!! A nice sunny day too!

  • Reply onlychevys Williams March 19, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    I would say that was very good so far, Not near as bad as it sounds! Looking forward to the rest of the survey!

  • Reply rixeethefirst March 19, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    another great video following you guys closley

  • Reply Sean March 19, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Wow, invaluable information! Thanks!

  • Reply Orange Fish March 19, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    If the boat has been barrier coated and still has blisters my best guess is that it had a major blister issue in the past that had tried to be fixed. We spent over a year in the yard doing just this job….

  • Reply R S March 19, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    good episode……….do you have a figure in mind beyond which you'll start to look for another one? Or will you do the necessary repairs if the seller gives some off the asking?

  • Reply IntermittentSailingWithKids March 19, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    You have two options on the blisters. Attack the ones you see yourself, and wait for more to form. This will save you $$. BUT you will have to look occasionally to make sure more aren't forming. If you wanted to keep this boat in the water for extended periods of time right out of the gate, might be best to take care of all of them now. It took me about 4 years to get all the blisters off of my second boat. But I came out of the water every year. No concerns about the keel joint cracking, you are going to find that the keel is single row bolted when you look in the bilge. Surveyor has you on the right track there. Iron keels are going to require regular preventative maint, you have to keep after them. Once they start to go, it gets UGLY. There are two camps on iron keels. The Beneteau folks are in the first camp, that iron underwater is OK as long as it is treated correctly. I am in the second camp, iron doesn't belong underwater, especially in salty water. Not having water in your rudder is good, most boats do. Cutlass bearing should be replaced, don't mess with that. Slightly confounded by the length of the shaft. I think Moody is a British boat, and they do weird things. Through hull valves are easy, just take your time and do it right. Overall not a game changer as of now, most of that work you can do yourself. I will await you second video.

  • Reply Sailing Madrigal March 19, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    I would agree that so far so good, gives you some potential bargaining points. No structural damage or indication of grounding. I would agree that the thru hulls 'should be' replaced. Not saying she'll sink if you don't, but is it worth the risk not to? Looking forward to the next. Cheers

  • Reply Titus Tiger March 20, 2016 at 12:06 am

    Kind of a cliff hanger…now can't wait for the rest of the survey.

    Good luck, though I am guessing you know already

  • Reply blugrasssful March 20, 2016 at 12:34 am

    You finally have something interesting and it's only 10 min. You should do your video's like AMC's The Walking Dead. 10 min of program and 50 minutes of commercials. Make me think I'm getting more… Getting exciting!

  • Reply Mark Hurley March 20, 2016 at 12:37 am

    Yes! Finally eh? ?

  • Reply 93mikep March 20, 2016 at 12:46 am

    Vin and Amy – congrats on finally getting the survey. I am eager to see the rest of it. I really like Capt. Ken – really takes the time explaining it. Good luck with the rest of it.

  • Reply julien hunt March 20, 2016 at 12:48 am

    Could be much worst for a boat of its age. You won't find a boat that has a perfect hull and is in that price range. I hope you guys get it! I love sailboat restoration vids!

  • Reply Roy Colley March 20, 2016 at 1:04 am

    Lets hope you get more good reports than bad. and you'll be doing an Irish Jig 🙂

  • Reply Christine Cochran March 20, 2016 at 1:23 am

    what david said no big issues

  • Reply Sailing Southern Cross March 20, 2016 at 1:36 am

    Looks Good! I would say you have at least a year on your bottom paint. It looks to be in the same condition as Southern Cross when we had her hauled out. We have a diver that cleans the bottom 1 a month and gives us a report each time. He said we are good for another year. That will be 2 and like I said, yours looks to be in almost identical shape.

  • Reply 32nicholson March 20, 2016 at 2:22 am

    At long last. I bet you guys are excited. I hope it all goes well.

  • Reply Bill Bruce March 20, 2016 at 2:50 am

    Your surveyor is very thorough…I thought my surveyor was picky, but your guy has him beat.  Attached is a write-up by the guy who discovered the cause of gelcoat blisters.


  • Reply Karloss jackel March 20, 2016 at 9:20 am

    so far all seems superficial nothing to bad , looking forward to the rest of the inspection thanks for sharing

  • Reply Moe Jaime March 20, 2016 at 11:21 am

    So cool guys you are on your way !!

  • Reply Sixbears March 20, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Enjoying the boat survey. Good stuff for boat Geeks.

  • Reply Bill Gosnell March 20, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Exciting stuff. It's a used boat and like buying a house there is wear and tear and decisions of what you guys are willing to accept or reject. Good luck and hoping for better news on rest of survey.

  • Reply Jason Caldwell March 20, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Great episode!! Thanks!

  • Reply Sailing Cruising Lifestyle March 20, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Looks like you found a good surveyor willing to go through his explanations. Good luck on the rest of the survey.

  • Reply rablues1 March 20, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Thanks for your videos! We're 2 years behind you guys and love seeing in advance at least some of the things if not all that we'll be facing. Thanks again!!!

  • Reply Phil H March 20, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    Wouldn't gravity tend to wear the bottom of the bearing out first? Looks good otherwise. It will be a pain to have to strip it off to the gelcoat but at least then you know its done right. I've done it on two boats I've owned. Are you planning on doing the bottom and seacocks yourself or have it done?

  • Reply Son of Neptune Sailing March 21, 2016 at 2:01 am

    So the hull looks ok… But what about the decks, the chain plates, the engine and everything else???

  • Reply Brian Tracy March 21, 2016 at 2:17 am

    Rather than soda blasting maybe you should look into "wet sandblasting" ,, you can remove all the bottom epoxy on a boat this size in about 2 hours blasting with crushed glass. Many people in the business are mobile and can come to you.

  • Reply Scott March 21, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    I wouldn't be too concerned about the gelcoat blisters, dig them out, let them dry and fill them. Boat pox is over rated, it keeps a very lucrative business alive in the yachting world. Boats don't sink because of blisters.

  • Reply Wake for Me March 21, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    What fun! You guys already know the outcome, but we have to wait… !!! Oh well gives us something to look forward to. Don't be afraid of DIY work. That's the nature of boat ownership.

  • Reply h2odragon1 March 21, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Finally! how long was the wait? What about the deck, cabin, mast, and systems part of the survey?

  • Reply Eddie Gr. March 22, 2016 at 12:27 am

    good job u guys ! 🙂

  • Reply Michael Rizzo March 22, 2016 at 1:26 am

    I'm not sure why, but I'm excited for you two. No mummies on this boat?

  • Reply Sail Before Sunset March 22, 2016 at 3:34 am

    I think I mentioned early on that full keels were encapsulated, and did not suffer from a lot of these anomalies.

  • Reply David March 22, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Hi Guys,
    Your project boat is getting interesting…
    I don't want to rain on your parade, here are some comments based on 'do it right, do it once'…
    I read the article from Smith and Company as seen in the Bill Bruce comment.
    Even if the hull gelcoat is only removed in a spotty manner, this will be an expensive endeavour. Add new thru-hulls and cocks and maybe plumbing,etc Several thousand dollars I would estimate…

    You will have to redo the anti-fouling bottom paint as well, $1500-2000 for 'coppercoat'. It lasts for 10+ years as opposed to 3-5years for regular bottom paint.

    Throw in the new shaft, bearings and glands plus a new feathering prop and there's another $2500. All these costs exclude labour, and assumes DIY!!!

    I can't wait to see the end result. Sounds to me the surveyor is giving you grounds to walk away already…

  • Reply GoSea Sailing March 23, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Great video! I loved the music to start it off. Great topic for people to see the process. A good survey will save you money and I like to think that this is your last opportunity to get someone to fix your boat for free! Cheers and good luck. -Robb

  • Reply Angelina Reynolds March 23, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Is it the sellers, or buyers responsibility to bring the boat unto the hard for the survey?

  • Reply Jimmy D March 23, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    and that's just the first 15min…….. are you worried yet?

  • Reply Allen Michaels March 23, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    looks like a nice big hole in your pocket lol

  • Reply Empty Nest Sailing March 24, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    Very good survey so far, he has pointed out quite a few items you need to address. Nice that he let you film the process. 🙂

  • Reply Sailing Free At Last March 25, 2016 at 6:53 am

    Another amazing video

  • Reply Sailing Moon Shadow March 25, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Great video, a very thoughror survey thus far. The guy knows his stuff, I don't know that a sandblasting is necessary to fix the hull however. Just a bit more attention and grinding on her next haulout. She has a nice shape to her hull. Looking forward to next episode.

  • Reply SB Stone March 25, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    this is so exciting!

  • Reply mrmrlee March 31, 2016 at 2:18 am

    If you decide to go with a composting head, some through hulls can actually be eliminated, saving the expense of buying new ones. The less holes in the boat, the better!

  • Reply Jaime Pando March 31, 2016 at 4:46 am

    Keep good paint on the bottom (Petit Trinidad SR) and cosmetic blisters will not grow, mine didn't in 10 years at all. But you got to put paint every two years or so! Typical of gel coats of this vintage

  • Reply Jaime Pando March 31, 2016 at 4:51 am

    Make sure you have the keel bolts checked and tighten to spec, I did mine 4 years ago and one broke so I had them all replaced with stainless 316 (more Molly in the steel) rather than the 304 that existed at the time of these boats constrction (80's). Stainless 316 is far more corrosion resistant. You definitely do not want to experience loosing your keel. Depends where it happens can be deadly

  • Reply Sailerman April 7, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    You were lucky to have such a good surveyor that took the time to explain everything to you and to make  recommendations. The surveyor for my  boat only filled out a report but did not and would not explain anything. ( he was hired by the bank and the  insurance company ) so he felt that he did not have to explain himself to me.

  • Reply Mark Lally April 28, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    this guy has said nothing good/positive about this boat

  • Reply blackl1steddrums May 6, 2016 at 7:44 am

    using a flashlight while wearing sunglasses.. lol

  • Reply Eric Ryan Modelling August 26, 2016 at 6:26 am

    Informative! Thank you! engine alignment easy fix, common sense .. which direction is the wear? tweak the motor mounts , and get a spare bearing, you will need eventually.

  • Reply Eric Ryan Modelling August 26, 2016 at 6:34 am

    and don't forget, that's the bottom…..thru hulls make perfect, top leaks will destroy anything worth saving! chain plate leaks to bulkheads can be fixed…if the deck is soft to many places… donate for target practice reef.

  • Reply Diane S September 6, 2016 at 3:56 am

    There was such great info in that vid. I learned so much. Thanks for filming it.

  • Reply johnny llooddte September 9, 2016 at 6:17 am

    this guy is good..needs a bottom job..but it will float…

  • Reply Bart Vertrees October 30, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    …..Did you know you were going to have all these problems? Did you inspect for these things? How long has it taken you to fix everything? I wouldn't have the guts to go through all this…God bless you two.

  • Reply Ermis Adamidis August 21, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    Surveyor flashing a light outside in daylight wearing sunglasses…..

  • Reply craig willard January 24, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    I have used Ken Henry for every purchase/ins survey for the last 30 years. He is the best!

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